Empirical studies on the initiation of impulsive heating in coronal loops

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Letters & Science


The heating of the solar corona is an important topic both for scientists and modern society. One of the most fundamental of structures in the corona are bundles of plasma confined to the magnetic field, loops. Here we perform empirical studies to better understand the mechanisms responsible for heating loops. We observe loops in X-rays with XRT and model the observations as bundles of independent strands, showing that the mechanisms instigating the heating of loops is likely impulsive, yet requires multiple heating events to match observations. We also observe and model very small loops with Hi-C, exploiting the high resolution to show that the frequency with which small loops are heated is larger than expected. This study also puts constraints on the size of the heating events. We also perform a study on the initiation of magnetic reconnection between neighboring active regions, in hopes of understanding how magnetic fields interact, evolve and heat coronal loops. We close with a discussion on calibrating the data from a solar X-ray telescope and interpret the uncertainties within.




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